President Clinton's And Obama's Health Care Policies:
Since the 1960's, universal health care has continued to be a major aspect of social reform to an extent that the right to health care for all Americans has been a central issue in political debates. The debate regarding universal health care was particularly fueled by the enactment of the Social Security Act in 1965 that guaranteed care services for the poor and elderly through Medicare and Medicaid. Despite of these attempts to provide health care to the poor and elderly, universal health care has remained a lurking legislative fiasco for more than four decades. During the 1990's, the then presidential candidate, Bill Clinton, propelled this issue to the vanguard of his campaigns as the focus shifted to health care reform. However, his administration failed to enact a health care bill because of a stubborn Democratic Congress. Universal health care was also a major issue in the 2008 presidential campaigns due to the need for health reform and attracted stern domestic policy debates (Santana, 2012).
Support for Health Care Policies:
President Clinton's and Obama's health care policies seem to pivoting towards the same goal of increasing the affordability and accessibility of health care services to all Americans. However, the effectiveness of each health care policy is characterized with some serious challenges. President Clinton's health care reform was largely ineffective because of his failure to get anything substantive passed by the Congress. While Obama's Affordable Care Act was enacted into law, it experienced challenges from a political and economic perspective.
Despite of the failure of President Clinton's health care policy, the legislation would have brought considerable impacts on the affordability and accessibility of health care at a time when there was much focus on health reforms. With regards to health care reforms, American citizens are usually provided two extremes i.e. health care policy managed by the government with higher taxes or health care run by insurance companies that operate without rules. President Obama's health care policy is based on the assumption that both extremes are wrong. As a result, the policy focuses on strengthening employer coverage, promoting accountability of insurance firms, and offering patient choice of coverage and doctor without government interference ("The Obama-Biden Plan," 2009). The health care policy offers affordable and accessible health care to all Americans through developing the existing health care system and using current providers, plans, and doctors. Rather than being blocked by bureaucrats of insurance companies, patients will make health care decisions with their doctors.
Most of the dysfunctions in the U.S. health care system are basically attributed to seriously flawed federal policies. The ability of state governments to develop transparent, efficient, and patient-centered system is largely hindered by the enactment of such policies. Prior to the enactment of Obama's health care policies, federal policy in health care strongly encouraged the provision of health insurance by third-party firms while penalizing individuals' purchase. As a result, Americans rarely own their individual policies and do not even know their actual costs. Obama's health care policies have dealt with these flaws in past federal policies through avoiding the two extremes and improving affordability and accessibility of health care.
Opposing the Health Care Policies:
Even though Obama's health care policies attempts to fix two extremes that have dominated health care law in the past, the policies are ineffective and would hurt the health care sector. This is mainly because these policies worsen each of the three segments of the deeply troubled health-care financing system. The worsening of these segments is based on the fact that Obama's policies make them less innovative, less efficient, and less market-oriented. Therefore, the policy cannot be supported on grounds that it contains some similarities with some initiatives by certain states to deal with the effects of the current health care system (Levin & Ponnuru, 2012, p.35). This policy does not address ways in which federal laws hinder the development of an efficient and competitive health care system. However, Obamacare doubles down on federal policies and adds a highly complicated system of more public subsidies and oppressive rules.
Therefore, Obama's health care policies worsen the already bad health-care system through exacerbating serious issues with the U.S. health-care financing. Actually, the policy is likely to undermine quality and access in Medicare because it does not address major problems like lack of competition, irrational structure, and lack of innovation. In addition, Obama's health care policies expand Medicaid without reforming its irrational structure. The current Medicaid structure intensifies the benefits for over-spending and integrating more middle-class Americans into the ineffective health care system.
The ineffectiveness of Obama's health care policies is also evident in the fact that it increases economic distortions brought by the current system. This is through maintaining the tax treatment while adding a new entitlement program alongside it. As a federal policy, Obama's health care policy increases costs though it seeks to improve the affordability and accessibility of health care. In addition, it increases federal control, increases taxes, forces middle-class individuals and families to leave their present coverage, and spends money that the government does not have.
Response to the Argument in Support of the Policy:
The support for President Clinton's and Obama's health care policies can be understood from a positive argument i.e. The potential benefits of these policies in light of their impacts on the current health care system. In essence, the argument in support of the policy is analyzed based on its positive effects in improving the affordability and accessibility of health care services. Furthermore, this argument can be analyzed through examining the effects of the policy in dealing with flaws in past health care legislations and reforms.
Generally, Obama's health care policies are beneficial to Americans, particularly those that esteem Medicaid and Medicare. The policies enhance the involvement of major stakeholders in the health sector with regards to accelerating the rate of acquiring insurance coverage, which in turn increases health insurance coverage and lessens treatment costs. As a result, these policies have contributed to the improvement of patient care through lower costs and elimination of frauds that characterized the health sector initially. Therefore, Obama's health care policy promotes public health and forces insurance companies to work for people and businesses rather than for insurance and drug companies.
With regards to dealing with the flaws in previous legislations on health care, the policy not only addresses the two dominant extremes but it's also a means-tested voucher system that enables people to purchase health insurance in a controlled market (Klein, 2012). First, the policy eliminates a government-run health care sector with higher taxes by enabling patients to choose doctor and care without government interference. It also lessens government involvement in health care by enabling patients to make care decisions with their doctors. Secondly, the policy does not let health insurance companies to operate without rules since these companies are required to work for individuals and businesses. As part of strengthening coverage, the policy promotes the accountability of insurance companies and ensures that these firms do not interfere with a patient's health care decisions.
Response to Argument against the Policy:
As evident in President Clinton's and Obama's health care policies, Democrats and their allies have attempted to develop a policy consensus on health care for several years. The consensus is centered on a major overhaul of the current health care system in the United States based on universal coverage or the right to health care for all. While President Clinton's plans did not succeed in the Congress, Obama's health care policies seem to be a patchwork approach that was developed after his victory in the 2008 election. Even though it claims to lessen the federal budget deficit, the approach seeks to mandate, regulate, and subsidize health care (Suderman, 2012).
The previously discussed argument against Obama's health care…